Charles Condy playing at the Vortex Jazz Club, London. Photographer: Lydia Polzer

 

Charles is one of those rare people who along with real musical talent are totally dedicated to their musical path and absorbing everthing possible to get the 'big picture'. There's a real personality in his music - and a vision for what he wants to express.

Tim Sund, Pianist & Composer

Walking through Camden. Photo: Katja CondyLOOKING BACK , it doesn’t come as a surprise that I became a professional musician – detours notwithstanding.

The foundations were laid at school where I focussed on flute but also experimented with jazz piano and saxophone. After gaining a performer’s diploma in flute, I left school and went on to read Latin and Greek at Birmingham University. Then, in 1995, I moved to Berlin, where I continued studying Latin and and pursued various part-time jobs. But it was an encounter with Richie Beirach at the Berlin A-Trane jazz club that finally convinced me to devote myself to a musical career.

So. between 1998 and 2001, I studied privately with German pianist and composer Tim Sund before returning to London to complete a postgraduate jazz diploma at the Guildhall School of Music. I was awarded a distinction and, shortly afterwards, took up my first engagement as Musical Director for the Birmingham Stage Company.

As 2002 winner of the Carleton Granbery Jazz Award and the Ted Heath Jazz Composition Prize, I showcased my own music at the Vortex – including my six-movement suite based on paintings by Lyonel Feininger. I have also played with jazz luminaries such as Rufus Reid, Kenny Wheeler and Tim Garland, who was featured in my debut Big Band composition Semele.

Bright Stars of Jazz at Brecon Jazz Festival, 2005. Photo: Katja CondyIn 2003, I received a commission to write and conduct an anthem for a children’s festival in southern Germany, contributed the liner notes to Tim Sund's Americana CD and performed at the opening of the Museum of London’s exhibition: 1920s - The Decade that Changed London. In April 2004, while studying early 20th century jazz piano and stride with Keith Nichols, I was invited to join the leading British Chicago-Dixieland band, the Bright Stars of Jazz.

Festival appearances include the 2003 Greenwich Riverfront Jazz Festival, the 2004 London Jazz On The Streets midsummer festival, the Brecon Jazz Festival 2004 and 2005 and the Isle of Man Jazz Festival 2006.